Since becoming the first signee to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker’s DTA Records in 2020, jxdn has grown into a pop-punk star, leading a new wave of artists tapping into the genre. This year, the TikTok star and singer released his debut album, Tell Me About Tomorrow; opened on tour for close friend Machine Gun Kelly; played festivals like Lollapalooza; and wrapped 2021 with the deluxe version of his full-length, which includes the aptly titled emo holiday song “Christmas Sucks.” By working with Barker, jxdn says he’s now better able to “pay respects to the people who have already done this for so long, like the Blinks, Hawthorne Heights, Finch — everybody who came before us and laid down the foundation, that’s important to me.” Now, after DTA welcomed its newest artist to the roster — none other than Avril Lavigne — the label, and jxdn, are looking ahead to an even more explosive 2022. “Being able to make more music applying what I’ve learned [this year] is the best feeling,” says jxdn, “and I wouldn’t be able to do that with anyone else but Travis.”
Since you signed with DTA in 2020, pop-punk has become a major genre again. Why do you think so many other young artists are exploring the sound?
Before, [the genre] seemed super niche, but now it’s becoming more like the cool kids’ thing to do. It just seems so weird because it has been around for so long and people are looking at it like it has never been done before, so I’m glad I’m in the position I’m in. I think me and [Machine Gun Kelly] both gained success by just giving our respects to the inspirations that we derive our music from.
Why is Travis Barker the person to help bring this sound back to the mainstream?
He had the chance to be [in] the biggest punk band in the world — and that’s just music. He has been through such impactful moments in life in general that I don’t think he has the time to mess around. In his mind, everything he’s doing he wants to be doing with purpose. So when we first met, I remember I felt like he wasn’t trying to gain anything from me more than just, “I want to make good music with you.”
How does it feel to have Avril Lavigne as a labelmate?
It’s literally Avril f–king Lavigne. It’s the coolest thing in the world. It makes me feel really special because now that Avril is signed, and whenever he decides to sign whoever else, I think people are starting to realize Travis really believes in these people he’s signing. It means a lot to me because I love small-circle s–t, I love small-family s–t, and all of them have been so great to me.
Can we expect a collaboration from you three?
That would be so lame if we didn’t.
Why was releasing the holiday song “Christmas Sucks” an important benchmark for you?
I was like, “Even if [my career] goes to s–t, I can play this in a small bar around town.” But I’ve honestly had s–tty Christmases, and Christmas sucks for a lot of people, so I love being the odd one out and giving people a place to feel better. That’s the only thing I want to do.
What is your biggest takeaway from touring?
People think I think I deserve to be here, like the douchebag kid who buys his way to the top type of thing, but I’m just blessed, and every person that came up to me [after a show] and said they’re a fan of my music, it’s almost hard to handle because [while] growing up you doubt everything you hear. I’m just excited to be here — and I think people are starting to realize that. People can say whatever they want, but each kid deserves to find their scene and be able to connect to something.